Monthly Archives: November 2012

A day in the life (of a math teacher)


5:30 – alarm goes off (I woke up at 5:29 – internal clock is great – except for weekends).  Got up and did my usual fb/email check.  A student emailed me last night about an online homework deadline he missed.  It was his first one, so immediately went in and extended the deadline (like I’ve never missed a deadline) and replied back to his email. Also printed off the quizzes that I made last night for today, as well as found an practice worksheet for the kids to work on after their quiz.

6:00 – husband wakes up and my “quiet time” has ended.  Time to get ready for school before the kids wake up

6:45 – kids wake up – make sure everything is ready with them. Youngest showed me how far he read in his book last night – no wonder he is tired.  : )

7:15 – out the door to get to school.  Very short drive, but still takes time to get everyone loaded and dropped off.

7:20 – stop by the office before I even went to my room to copy my quiz for 8th grade.  If I see an empty copier I jump – wish we had a district copy center where we could send papers and they would get copied for us. Bonus of that – I wouldn’t wait until the last moment to do everything.  On the way to my room I dropped off my lunch in the lounge (yea for me remembering it)

7:35 – finally made it to my classroom.  Put my coat away and grabbed the college algebra test to head downstairs and copy it.  As I’m walking out the door a college algebra student comes in for questions on their review assignment.  Funny how the last six problems of the assignment were the ones he had the most trouble with….or could be he just didn’t get the time to finish and thought it would be easier to come in and have me help rather than figuring it out on his own.  I’ve been wrong before but…

8:00 – helped the student with college algebra – got the tests copied – printed off the alternate schedule for today (veteran’s day program – don’t ask me why it was on Tuesday???), greeted kids as they came in a dropped their stuff off for first hour.  

8:10 – first hour starts.  8th grade – hand out the sheet I want the students to work on after their quiz, work the first problem together to model what is expected.  Hand out the quizzes- concept 10 (solving one variable equations) and concept 11 (word problems to math symbols) are on the agenda for today.  Which is why it was very important I have something productive for the kids to work on after the quiz since this is the third time quizzing on 10 and some have mastered that concept and don’t have to take it.  While they are taking the quiz I review what we are covering in college calculus today and start filing some papers from one of my many piles…Students are done with about 15 minutes.  I have them compare what they have finished on their sheet with other students as I walk around and see how they did.  We will officially go over it tomorrow.

2nd hour – (I forget what time this officially was since we were on alternate schedule) pretty much the same as first except I realize that one question on the quiz was a no solution answer and I didn’t intend for it to be.  So I need to tell everyone the new problem.  (sorry 1st hour!)  While they are taking the quiz this time I am still filing, making an answer key for the college algebra assignment and emailing back and forth with the school nurse about our first responders drill we had yesterday.  I am a first responder (yea me!) but I thought it would be good to email all the teachers and remind them of our protocol of calling the office and the office gets everything in motion – that way we won’t have 20 million people calling 911 and the first responders get their quicker to start whatever is needed.  only 10 minutes extra after the quiz here.  I spend a few minutes talking about appropriate assembly behavior…basically said – if you don’t want to pay attention, I can’t make you, but you still need to be respectful of the presenter and the people around you – so keep your yap shut.

3rd hour – (again I don’t know what time this is) college calculus.  I quickly ran down in between hours and copied a practice sheet on log derivatives.  Yesterday’s lesson didn’t go as well as I had hoped and I knew they needed more practice.  So we started the hour with that.  I think it helped.  what didn’t help was the fact that I forgot the band kids got out 15 minutes early to go get ready for the assembly.  It also didn’t help when a kid asked if they could get out 5 minutes early.  that always bugs me…if your band teacher thought you needed to get out at 9:55 he would have put that in the email.  

10:27 – kids dismissed for assembly.  I rush to the gym to make sure my 8th graders are sitting in the right spot and so I know where I need to position myself.  When I say “that class” teachers know what I mean.  I thought our teachers did a nice job of positioning themselves in the problem areas.  I sat in the back so I could see them all.  Very nice assembly, but I feel I didn’t enjoy it as much as I could have because I was constantly worried about kids misbehaving.  Other than a few chatty girls I thought they did a fabulous job.  

11:24 – assembly ran over – go figure – it’s my prep next.  : (    Waited for the gym to clear out before I left. Stopped in the lounge and grabbed an apple (I know – kind of cliche, but someone brought apples for teacher appreciation week I think.  teachers don’t turn down free food.)  Went to my room and started preparing tomorrow’s college algebra lesson – brand new class for me.  I am never more than a day ahead – sometimes kids comment how the papers are warm!!!)  Kid from this morning comes in again.  Still not understanding – hmmmm.  With 5 minutes left in my prep I put the college algebra tests on the desks so students can get started right away.  With the alternate schedule kids are worried about not having enough time (this hour is 4 minutes shorter)

5th hour – regular bells were shut off and someone in the office hasn’t rung the end of 4th hour bell yet.  My kids are going to FLIP OUT.  so I call down to the office to remind them.  While the students are taking the test I create the answer key for that.  I then continue to work on tomorrow’s lesson – get it done and print it out.  I decide to let the kids stay for 10 minutes after class if they want more time – usually I don’t do this.  No one hands in the test early but only 5 stay and take advantage of the extra time.  (one girl thanked me for allowing them extra time – so sweet)

lunch – (which is now 10 minutes shorter btw).  head to the lounge and was going to reheat my chili and noticed our community ed people have put a crockpot of veggie soup in their as a fundraiser (vaguely recalling and email). I think this is great since I won’t have to take the time to reheat my chili (since I’m already down 10 minutes).  WRONG CHOICE.  Crockpot was still on high – burned my tongue  : (  But entertained the staff! so I guess it worked out.  Most days I love the conversation in the lounge.  Today was one of them.  Good stories shared today (including one about a female walking into the males bathroom.) Quickly finish my soup (after I add some water to cool it down) decide to take a to go bowl for tomorrow – problem is – I forgot my money.  Quickly go check my mailbox before 6th hour

6th hour – pretty much the same as other 8th grade hours.  Although I do have a student who I haven’t seen in probably 4 days come today.  He is frustrated on his quiz because he doesn’t know exactly what to do.  Shocking isn’t?  <sarcasm font>  about 10 minutes after the quiz in this hour.  Had a brief discussion on how I thought they did a tremendous job at the assembly.  

7th hour – supervision hour (but my supervision is after school so I have this free) – took some money down to community ed to pay for my soup.   Came back and emailed back and forth with a parent confirming our meeting time for 4:00 today.  Had to email syllabi for my college classes to the college – hello – I already did that at the beginning of the year.  Actually worked a little ahead in college algebra – at least converting all of the power points to notebook files for the upcoming chapter.  Went down to the lounge and grabbed my homerooms grade reports for the 3 weeks.  I also made an excel sheet to keep track of who owes homework rooms and how many (more on this discussed after school)

Homeroom 3:00 – Hand out grades (2 students are missing that were here during the day – I’m confused).  Remind the students on the thank you letters they are going to be writing this week.  I decided to have my homeroom students write a thank you note (to be delivered during thanksgiving week) to an adult in the school system that has affected their life.  Today I ask them for who they are going to write too.  Very interesting who they pick.  Another 8th grade homeroom teacher brings in a giant poster board and suggests that we make a congrats card for our teacher of the year (just announced yesterday) who happens to be an 8th grade teacher.  So we quickly do that as well.  Or at least everyone signs their name – we will have to decorate the cover tomorrow.  

3:15 – school is over – I head out in the hall to try and track down my 2 missing students.  Found one – he was at the high school wrestling meeting – I remind him that he needs to check in with me first.  Turns out the other one was there too.  Head back to my room to supervise homework rooms (any student with a d, f, or inc on a grade report must stay after school for extra help.)  Today I had three students – conveniently who need to work on math – unfortunately they all need different concepts.  So I do my best bouncing between the three.  Two think they are ready to re-asses. So I give them a new assessment.  the other – instead of anther assessment, I quiz him myself.  Before they leave I make plans with them on what other concepts they need to get proficient in and what they can do tonight to prepare.  

3:45 – those kids leave.  I quickly go to my computer to print off a grade report for the parent conference I am having at 4 (remember my day is officially over at 3:45, but this kid needs a little intervention so I’m happy to stay).  My oldest isn’t happy we are staying longer so decides to walk home.  Fine by me.  head to the printer to get the grade report – meet mom in the hallway.  She says I have a little time until dad and kid get here so I go to the copier and start the college algebra lesson going.  Leave it there (it will still be there in the morning) and go to my parent conference

4:35 – conference is over.  Head across the hall to another teacher and discuss the day.  Talk about how adults can find anything to complain about.  (after I left her room I realized we were complaining about it…)Went back to my room and gathered up all the papers I need to take home to grade.

4:55 – get home.  (but not before I had to run back to the school to take my oldest – who decided not to walk home but to hang out with his friends before bball practice – his parent permission slip for basketball. Decide I need to head to Sioux Falls (town about 30 minutes away) to get some things and get groceries for thanksgiving (this is an entirely off task topic that would take a long time to explain so I won’t)  

5:30  = leave for sioux falls.  peaceful drive over and back – got to call some of my favorite people and catch up.  not so peaceful grocery shopping.  stopped at hobby lobby and picked up some colored rock for my respect jar.  

8:30 – home now and groceries are unloaded and put away.  Time to start grading my tests.  I grade one page at a time so I have some consistency.  My initial reaction is they are doing horrible.  Once I actually figure out their overall grades I realize it was just a few who did bad.  Some did really good.  I know they are anxious to know their scores, so I enter them into our online grading system right away and send an email out that they are entered and thanking them for their hard work this chapter – it was long!  (oh, I almost forgot – as i’m grading I listened into the global math department session on homework.  very interesting.)

9:30 – I start to figure out some sort of review for calculus tomorrow.  they have a test on Friday over derivatives (which is another long chapter).  

10 – finally have an idea of what I’m going to do with calculus.  decide to check out facebook and blogs – man -people have been busy blogging tonight.  don’t get them all read.  

10:30 – decide that instead of grading 8th grade quizzes tonight I will go to bed and get up early (remember  quiet time) and grade them then.  but here it is – now 11:30 and I’m still awake – I guess I thought I needed to blog about my day. 

Well there you have it.  In the process of my night I did visit with my kids and husband as well as respond to some texts from family and friends. (I don’t want people to think i’m a bad mom)  No tv for me tonight.  thank goodness for DVRs.  I think the voice results were on tonight – as well as Parenthood.  Love those shows.

OMG – I need to go to sleep.  This wasn’t one of my better teaching days – since I didn’t do much, but it was certainly busy enough and I think it shows rather nicely – a day in the life of a math teacher.  


Posted by on November 14, 2012 in Uncategorized